Lightning, IT'S ALIVE! (yes, my fish hate me)

I’ve been waiting for this one for a few months. I knew it would work, but I really wanted to see it in action with real data. Finally got a thunderstorm tonight and have my aquarium lighting synched up with the Tempest lightning strike data via UDP. It’s a sub-second response. Lightning strike, the light display immediately goes of. I literally fisted the air with a “YES” the first time I saw it happen.


I wonder if the change in Lighting (dark, then bright flashes) is hard on their eyes!

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Apologies to your fish … but that is really awesome!

I can’t image it would be any worse than if they were in a lake during a thunder storm

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How did you set this up if you care to share? Simply awesome!


The light is a WS2812 individually addressable LED strip. I’ve got it connected to a NodeMCU ESP8266 board that is flashed with WLED. The WLED firmware has dozens of effects built in, one of them is this lightning flash. I’ve got a UDP listener that is looking for UDP messages from the hub indicating a lightning strike. My home automation controller is SmartThings, I have the WLED strip added to that as a controllable device. Along with SmartThings, I use SharpTools with SmartThings. SharpTools can use a webhook as a trigger. I have the UDP listener set to do an HTTP request to a URL in SharpTools, when SharpTools get it, it turns off the aquarium lights off, turns on the lightning effect for 5 seconds and then restores the previous state of the light waiting for the next strike

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Can you list what is needed for this project and approximately what the cost is?


Individually addressable light strip About $1.50/ft. I used 6’, so about $9

A NodeMCU board These are from Amazon, and about $3, but if you’re willing to wait 3-4 weeks, you can order them from Aliexpress for $1.70.

5v 1amp power supply. ~$10

That’s all you really need to buy, so total cost about $22

You can flash the NodeMCU board quite easily with a standard micro USB cord, literally plug it into a computer and go to the WLED webpage, search for the web installer and click Install.

This will have the all the stuff you need to operate the light. It has a web interface that you can control it with.

The next step really depends on where you want to go with it and how to trigger it. I use SmartThings for my home automation controller, so that’s what I used. But there are plenty of other ways to trigger it. You could just as well send a http request directly to the light from the listener. Here is some info on the various ways to do it. I haven’t explored any other methods beyond what I was familiar with in SmartThings, so I can’t offer much help there.

Very creative. When do you hear the thunder compared to the flashing?
Cheers Ian :slight_smile:

The flash happens before the thunder. It’s almost instantaneous with the actual strike


How sad. You should try to get out more.

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Taking the kids to Punta Cana on Sunday for spring break, does that count?

Shhhhh… don’t tell them, it’s a surprise.

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LOL! Have a great time.

I was there in Feb this year - You will love it :grinning:

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